Under the agencies’ proposal, traditional navigable waters, tributaries to those waters, certain ditches, certain lakes and ponds, impoundments of jurisdictional waters and wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters would be federally regulated.
It also details what are not “waters of the United States,” such as features that only contain water during or in response to rainfall, for example, ephemeral features; groundwater; many ditches, including most roadside or farm ditches; prior converted cropland; storm water control features; and waste treatment systems.
The agencies believe this proposed definition appropriately identifies waters that should be subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act while respecting the role of states and tribes in managing their own land and water resources.
States and many tribes have existing regulations that apply to waters within their borders, whether or not they are considered “waters of the United States.”
Photo Credit: Tom C. Doran, AgriNews